Shatabdi Express passenger paid 70 instead of 20 for a cup of tea. Here's why

By, New Delhi
Jul 02, 2022 06:22 AM IST

According to an Indian Railways rule, on trains such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto, passengers who have not pre-booked meals will have to pay a service charge of ₹50 per meal if they order food during the journey.

After a passenger complained he was charged 70 for a cup of tea instead of the actual cost, 20, Indian Railways have explained the reason. Railway officials said that as per a 2018 Indian Railways circular, if a passenger, while making reservations for trains such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto, does not pre-book food, then, during the journey, they will have to pay a service charge of 50 per meal for ordering food, even if the item is just a cup of tea.

Invoice uploaded by the passenger. (
Invoice uploaded by the passenger. (

In this case, the passenger, Balgovind Verma, was travelling from Delhi to Bhopal on the Shatabdi Express on June 28. He shared photos of two tax invoices on his Twitter handle.

“Tax of 50 for a 20 cup of tea. My country's economics has truly been changed. Till now, it was only history that was changed,” he tweeted in Hindi.

Users in comments section corrected him that 50 was, in fact, service charge – as mentioned in the bill – and not tax.

Earlier, food services on trains such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi were mandatory, but were made optional later. Therefore, passengers who did not want meals, would have to pay only for the journey ticket.

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